Repairing an Air Conditioner
Like any other piece of equipment in your home, an air conditioner requires regular maintenance to function properly. A well-maintained AC unit is likely to keep cool for longer than an unmaintained one, minimizing replacement costs and improving energy efficiency. It may also reduce the risk of a major repair bill or expensive breakdowns in the future. However, homeowners often wonder whether it’s worth repairing an old air conditioning unit instead of replacing it completely.
A few key factors influence the answer to this question, including the type of air conditioning system, the problem, and the cost of repairs. A basic service call can run from $75 to $200, with additional parts and labor tacked on.
The make and model of your AC can have a big impact on the repair cost, as can where you live. For example, the Huffington Post reports that a more powerful central air conditioning repair system usually costs more to repair than a smaller window-mounted system. Similarly, an AC system located in a sunny area will have to work harder than an AC in a shaded location to cool a home.
Is it Worth Repairing an Air Conditioner?
Some problems require simple troubleshooting, while others are more complex and could involve a repair or replacement. For instance, if your AC isn’t cooling but is running, it may be due to a faulty thermostat or clogged ductwork. In this case, a professional should be consulted to determine the problem and provide an estimate of what the solution will entail.
In many cases, a faulty blower motor is the cause of an AC that won’t cool. This is because the blower is responsible for pumping cool and warm air throughout your home. If it stops working, you may be able to fix this yourself by switching the unit on and off several times or removing and cleaning the filter. You may also need to trim back the foliage around your air conditioner or clean the evaporator coils and condenser.
Other problems, such as a refrigerant leak, are best left to professionals. Leaks can be found in a number of places, including access ports, valves, and the evaporator or condenser coils. Depending on where the leak is, you will need to disassemble parts of the AC to access it, which can take a while and lead to higher repair costs.
Another important factor is the cost of replacement parts, which can be anywhere from a few dollars to thousands. Some replacement parts are less common and therefore more expensive than others, but if the problem is serious, a new part is usually necessary to restore your AC’s function.
If the problem is more severe than a broken thermostat or clogged ductwork, then it’s probably better to replace the unit rather than trying to fix it. This is especially true if the unit has been repaired in the past and is beginning to show signs of deterioration, as it’s likely that other components will break down soon, leading to even more costly repairs.